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Eylau revisited

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  • Eylau revisited

    I was going to post this article for your perusal months ago but distractions and trips and surgeries threw me off. We have seen a melage of great threads here, reference innumerable topic subjects and in truth this section of ACG, remains my personal favorite. Not always for personal participation or message volume but because we see here some great Napoleonic scholars...layman and or proffesional alike.

    It's a pleasure just to read the stuff that you folks post.

    Anyhow we all know about Eylau and this past Feb would have been it's 200th birthday....and while not necessarily the most conclusive and or signficant of the many fights during the Napoleonic campaigns it remains a hell of fight.

    Ive read versions from Chandler to Esposito and i never ever tire of reviewing this epic fight. Months ago i found this site and the article that follows is a great laymans version with details and i feel quite readable. It encompassses and deals primarily with the great charge of the French horse on that fateful day.

    Hope ya like it.


    Graham J. Morris
    January 2002

    "The military historian, Dr David Chandler wrote [Chandler pp535]:

    'None of the great Napoleonic struggles is surrounded with more doubt and uncertainty than the battle of Eylau. Fact, myth and propaganda are almost inextricably intertwined, and different authorities give conflicting interpretations of almost every aspect and stage of the struggle'.

    Much of the myth has come down to us in the form of eye- washing, by nineteenth-century battle painters, and brainwashing by some military historians who, even up to the present day, consider that men, horses, artillery and wagons can go dashing around a battlefield covered by almost a meter of snow, in temperatures of -16c, while intermittent blizzards raged.

    Trying to piece together the individual events of this great battle is rather like attempting to unravel a tangled fishing line; just when you think you have found the correct loop to pass it through, the whole lot gets even more entwined. Dealing with the battle as a whole, therefore, is not the object of this paper, but by focusing our attention on one of the grand moments during its course, in this case Murat's massive cavalry charge, we may come to understand just how complex, and at times how fabricated Napoleonic battles could be.

    I do not intend to go into any details of the campaign leading up to the battle of Eylau other than to mention events just prior to the battle which may have effected the circumstances which occurred during its course; suffice to say that, like the battle itself, many other events which took place during this campaign are equally subject to doubt and conjecture.

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    Last edited by Centrix Vigilis; 08 Nov 07, 15:31.

  • #2
    Well, Eylau (together with Borodino) is certainly one of my favorite Napoleonic Battles ! I'm waiting for Osprey to publish a campaign on Eylau and one of Borodino...
    I'd even write it myself if they wanted me to !!!!

    Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

    It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

    Aut viam inveniam aut faciam



    • #3
      Indeed you write it pardner and i'll damn sure buy it.



      • #4
        Interesting link CV, Eylau also saw the last stand of the 14th line who had formed square atop a mound between the armies, repeated couriers were sent to them but none got through until Captain Marbot of Augereau's staff made it. By then it was too late, "i can see no way of saving the regiment" said their commander "return to the Emperor and give him the farewells of the 14th line which has faithfully carried out his orders, and take him the Eagle which he gave us and we can no longer defend". But Marbot was wounded and the Eagle lost as the 14th went under the Russian attack.The Eagle was never found and the Russians did not claim to have seized it. I can just look back and see the stoicism of these men with wonder and admiration.
        Never Fear the Event

        Admiral Lord Nelson


        • #5
          Yes a great story of courage Mike.
 was a great moement of personal sacrifice on behalf of and for the little Corporal.



          • #6
            Read Marbot's account of his near miss at Eylau:

            The Memoirs of Baron de Marbot:

            Volume 1:
            Volume 2:
            My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)


            • #7
              great links pardner. thanks


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